Thursday, June 05, 2008

About Me & My Blog


I'm Cathy, and I'm addicted to: books (especially crime fiction), laughter and traveling off the beaten path. In my free time, when my eyes aren't glued to the printed page, one of them is usually pressed against the viewfinder of my camera. Let's see... books, laughter, photography, travel... anything else? Oh yeah... my dream house wouldn't have a kitchen!

I'm a baby boomer who grew up in a small farm town in central Illinois. When it came time to start planning for college, I was tired of everyone in town knowing my business before I did, so I looked far afield until I found a college in Utah. One year after visiting family in Illinois during the summer, I returned to Utah via Arizona. I stopped in Phoenix. It was 110 degrees in the shade, and I fell in love with the heat, the light, and the Sonoran Desert. When I graduated, I moved to Phoenix and never looked back. After twenty years, I knew I was Home.

What is the purpose of this blog, Kittling: Books? First of all, you may wonder just what "kittling" means. It is a Gaelic word that means "anything that strikes [my] fancy", and that pretty much sums up my reading tastes. Although I do have a strong perference for crime fiction (mysteries), I also love historical fiction, history, biographies, time travel...anything that satisfies my craving for strong characters, story and setting.

In Kittling: Books, I chart my reading, sharing reviews of what I've read, and hoping to encourage others to read the books I've loved. You won't just read favorable reviews here. If I don't like something I've read, I'll say so, and I'll explain why I didn't like it in as kind a manner as I know how. Fortunately I'm much cannier in choosing what I read than I used to be, so the unfavorable reviews are few and far between.

This blog is a work in progress. It will not only have book reviews and book news, it will also contain some of my photography, weekly participation in book-related memes, and weekly features that spotlight the book blogging community and let you get to know me a bit better.

There are a few things that you'll probably never see on this blog: contests, giveaways, and participation in blog tours. I find it annoying to open my Google Reader and find over a dozen reviews of the same book on the same day-- the result of a blog tour-- and I'm sure that I'm not the only person who has this reaction!

As for the contests and giveaways... money is a bit scarce in this house at the moment. Most of the time it seems that contests and giveaways are attempts to inflate a blog's traffic numbers, especially when "follows" are listed as ways of garnering additional entries. I always wonder how many of those people actually read any of the rest of the posts, or if they only appear when they want to win something? I'm very proud of the traffic on Kittling: Books. It's a drop in the bucket compared to many other book blogs, but traffic has increased steadily since I began blogging in 2008, and each and every person is here because of what I have to share-- not because I'm giving away freebies!

If any of you ever have questions, concerns, ideas or comments you'd rather not share with all my readers, feel free to contact me... KittlingBooks(at)gmail(dot)com. 


  1. Your story reminded me of how it was to write for a big newspaper where the article would go through as many as half a dozen editors before seeing print. Some editors were courteous and would ask questions, others would change what they thought wrong or what they didn't like, sometimes dramatically. News isn't literature but I've read of several "great" writers whose work was vastly "improved" by editors. To me, literary fraud is more about outrageous lies than it is about the writing and editing of the story...

  2. That's the way I feel about it, too. Thanks for stopping by my blog!

  3. HELLO there fellow Bookworm !
    I think your idea (in it's creation stage) is absolutely fantastic !!!
    My name is Sabrina & I'm a California Girl, now living in Brussels Europe...Yep ! You've got it ! No books in English in any public library, not many people for whom it's totally natural to read & express themselves in English.I've tried several reading groups on Yahoo,
    But they seem all to have a tag...Romance, Historical Fiction, Fantasy & so on, This I find irritating because (like yourself) I have very different tastes when it comes to books, I couldn't just stick with one genre no matter how exciting it may be. I'm a Gemini,& The Key words to this sign are: /Communication,& Diversity/...I remember being very very, difficult as a child..When they would try to read something to me for example "The Poky Little Puppy "or whatever, every three minutes I would interrupt the adult who was unluckily Trying to read me a story ! Why ? To know just how many days until learning to read...See ???
    I've really got it bad..I live to read & read to live !!!!!
    In my opinion; your basic idea sounds great , especially on account of the freedom to end up reading whatever we like.And yet - having plenty of recommendations to check out!! !.& discuss it. Whereas reading groups pick a novel story or biography even if you're bored stiff after a couple of pages.
    What I really like about your idea is having the opportunity to hear about many genres (Including material of an author you wouldn't really like, or think of reading, but whose novels &/or poems, non-fiction, travel notes & much more would be recommended, by people whose opinions do matter, by all my reading friends...
    In this way, it's a very useful tool & broadens one's reading not only subject matter, whole new genres (sometimes) which you just haven't heard about or missed; misjudged? And being agrealy surprised
    ...I've been searching for e-pals ( OK a fellow addict is what I'm looking for) Yet never have I got any interested reaction, Stateside. I think I'll throw in the towel regarding e-pals, so, Kitteling, sounds like just about the right thing for me. I'd love to get some feedback & more about this brilliant reading circle ! I can always be reached at deepinnerfire@inbox.
    Well, in conclusion: I'd like to wish you lots of Success, not only in developing this idea & making it work ---- But also much success & & joy as well; regarding your own career as a writer ~~
    Best Wishes from ~~~~ Sabrina
    What I Love (almost)as much as I do reading itself, is discussing books ~~*~~ I've read & especially those I have yet to read !

  4. Hey, Cathy! :) I wasn't sure where to post this, but I just wanted to say I love your "Reader's Bill of Rights" scrolling marquee @ the top of your blog. I just finished reading The Rights of the Reader by Daniel Pennac and remember seeing them listed on the back cover. I may do something similar on my blog or LibraryThing page, but I'm no hurry. Thanks for the idea though! :)

  5. Sabrina--Thanks so much for your comment, and I apologize for taking so long to respond to it. Online book groups don't do much for me either, but I have found this huge community of book bloggers online. I'm sure you'll find many that will inspire you and give you many ideas on books that you would enjoy reading!

  6. Sara--Thanks so much for your comment. I didn't know--until earlier today--who'd written that Reader's Bill of Rights, and now I want to read his book!

    I know I've seen it on at least two other blogs, so I'm glad you want to use it on yours. I definitely think that the word should be spread!

  7. I've been following your terrific blog for several months now and just thought to read about you. Now I know why I sort of click with you - I was born in Clinton, Ill. and grew up in Springfield. Funny, I usually recognize a fellow midwesterner. I used to have family in Phoenix and Prescott so I've been there many times but the heat is just too much for me in the summer.

  8. Good old Route 51. The farm town I grew up in was 20 miles south of Decatur. There used to be a nursing home in Clinton where we'd go visit my great-grandmother. Springfield was where we'd fill the need for shopping in "the big city" and of course the State Fair.

    Perhaps you didn't recognize a fellow Midwesterner because it's been a long long time since I've called it home. Who knows? :)

    I'm glad you enjoy my blog. I keep my eye on yours but I tend to lurk and not comment on everyone's blogs. I follow too many, and I think I concentrate too much on getting through all the new posts instead of taking the time to stop and leave comments.

  9. My favorite genre is crime fiction too :D your website is beautiful!

  10. Haley-- Thank you! I'm working on yet another incarnation of the blog template that shows off my preference for crime fiction. Thanks so much for stopping by!

  11. What a gorgeous, gorgeous blog. How come I haven't seen you around before! And thanks for adding me to your Google Reader...

    I am, as you have probably realised, Aussie, but have lived in the US a couple of times. The second time we travelled a lot around the West - loved it, every bit of it, particularly the southwest deserts.

  12. whisperinggums-- You're welcome! With that blog name, I was almost positive you were Aussie. We don't call them gum trees here.

    It seems that lots of Aussies like the Sonoran Desert because quite a few have moved here. :)

  13. Thankyou for becoming a recent follower of my blog. I am normally more active but have had guests, hope to get back to posting soon. Good to meet you.

  14. LindyLouMac-- I know how it is to have guests. Mine usually show up during the winter and very early spring. Thanks for stopping by!

  15. Just wanted to say how much I enjoy your blog - great ideas for further reading here. Thanks!

  16. Barbara-- You're very welcome. Of course I had to take a look at your blog and found much to like there-- especially your photos.

  17. Thanks very much Cathy, you're very kind. I do have an addiction to photography, as well as reading and dark chocolate. Not necessarily in that order...

  18. Barbara-- I love photography, too. I think my best shots are usually close-ups of insects and other critters. (I suppose that means I like to creep up on things!)

  19. Great to discover you and your wonderful blog. Keep up the great work!



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